F1 News: Red Bull sign hundreds of Mercedes personnel

Red Bull has signed over 200 people from Mercedes, reveals Christian Horner. The British team principal is working to combat the F1 news stories being stirred up by Toto Wolff.

Over the last four months, negative F1 news headlines have continuously surrounded Red Bull. Despite their continued on-track success (albeit more contested, thanks to McLaren and Ferrari), their off-track shenanigans continue to capture people’s attention. Toto Wolff is among those to take advantage of the team’s internal instability. However, Christian Horner is now trying to return the favour.

It is no secret that Red Bull’s RB20 is the reference in F1. Even with Lando Norris claiming victory for McLaren last weekend, the reigning Champions have a comfortable advantage in the standings. Max Verstappen remains the favourite to become F1 Champion this season.

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Ferrari, McLaren and Mercedes ramp up the pressure

Still, there is no guarantee the team from Milton Keynes will continue to dominate. Adrian Newey was an integral part of their success, so his exit is undoubtedly a significant blow. This loss could be compounded by efforts from Ferrari and Fred Vasseur to acquire the 65-year-old’s services.

Potentially, the Italian outfit could become an even greater threat in 2026 – as they strengthen all areas. In the meanwhile, their upgrade package in Imola is highly anticipated. The latest improvements to the SF-24 could give Red Bull an even bigger headache in two weeks’ time.

On the driver front, Sergio Perez is still working to secure a contract extension. Keeping his position will not be easy, especially as reports intensify that Carlos Sainz is being targeted by Christian Horner.

However, in developments few would have believed when the year began, Toto Wolff has mentioned Max Verstappen as a realistic option for 2026. The Mercedes boss is eager to try and capitalise on any real or imagined weaknesses at Red Bull.

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Red Bull responds to suggestions of weakness from Toto Wolff

Last weekend, McLaren CEO Zak Brown suggested that Newey’s exit could trigger a wider brain drain.

In response, Christian Horner offered Sky Sports an alternate perspective:

“I’m not going to get sucked in for a tit for tat. I would be more focused on Toto’s own issues that he has. I don’t have any concern with the strength and depth [at Red Bull].

“Of course there is always going to be movement between teams. I don’t know how many people we have employed by McLaren this year.

“Mercedes? We have taken 220 people. 220 out of HPP into Red Bull powertrains.

“So when we are talking about losing people, I would be more worried about the 220 people, than one or two CVs.”

Horner’s comments are consistent with the consensus surrounding Mercedes – being that numerous rivals have poached many of their personnel. Aston Martin is among those who have acquired as much technical talent from Brackley and Brixworth.

Moving forward, Red Bull must prevent this same phenomenon from happening to them. Otherwise, the foundational pieces of their F1 success could slowly fade away.

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